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Dr Pepper Snapple joins Stevia-sweetened beverage stampede

BY Rob Eder

NEW YORK Fresh off news that its two biggest competitors plan to launch new diet beverages containing a new sugar alternative made from the plant Stevia, Dr Pepper Snapple Group announced Thursday it also plans to join Coke and Pepsi, and expects to launch a similar beverage product containing the new alternative sweetener.

On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Stevia-based sweeteners in foods and beverages.

The sweeteners, made from the leaves of a South American shrub, will provide natural alternatives to chemical sweeteners like Equal and Splenda.

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InBev says its recent court loss will not affect its global goals

BY Melissa Valliant

LEUVEN, Belgium Beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev is back at square one in its battle over the ‘Bud’ trademark with Czech Republic-based Budejovicky Budvar, though it says its global goals will not change.

Europe’s Court of First Instance this week repealed the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market’s decision, which had ruled against Budvar.

“The decision by the Court of First Instance has no effect on Anheuser-Busch InBev’s already extensive ‘Bud’ rights throughout the European Union,” Ornigg said. “It is immaterial to the global Budweiser growth strategy.”

Budvar believes it should be allowed to exclusively own the Budweiser trademark in all 27 EU member states because of its origins in the town after which the beer is named. The OHIM ruled in favor of InBev because it said Budvar had not proven its designation in relation to the town. The Court of First Instance stated that Budvar had been granted ‘Bud’ trademark protections in Austria and France, OHIM was not entitled to question how they were classified and InBev could not claim the ‘Bud’ trademark in all 27 member states, according to Beveragedaily.com.

As of now, 23 member states recognize InBev’s ‘Budweiser’ or ‘Bud.’ In order for the brewer to acquire the rest, it will need to individually copyright the trademark, state by state. InBev is still determining whether or not it will appeal the decision.

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Odwalla releases reduced-calorie juice drinks

BY Jenna Duncan

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. Odwalla natural juice maker has announced the addition of two new low-calorie flavors to its portfolio of juice drinks.

Odwalla Mojito Mambo and Pomegranate Strawberry flavor juice drinks sweetened with Truvia natural sweetener contain 50 calories each per 8-ounce serving, plus the daily requirement of vitamins C and E.

The juice beverages are sweetened with Truvia, a sweetener naturally-derived from the stevia plant, which has been under development for a few years by Cargill and Coca-Cola Co.

“In the Odwalla tradition, flavor comes first, and Odwalla Mojito Mambo and Odwalla Pomegranate Strawberry are delicious, refreshing juice drinks,” Chris Brandt, Odwalla VP of marketing said. “In addition, they offer 50 calories per 8-ounce. serving and excellent antioxidant power.”

Odwalla has said that its new Mojito Mambo and Pomegranate Strawberry juice drinks will be available in 15.2-ounce bottles at natural grocery, health and convenience stores at a suggested retail price of $3.29.

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